Partnerships, inspirational stories and speedsters
are highlighted at pre-race Press Conference
Race Day: Saturday, 2nd July 2016
Cowes, Isle of Wight | 1st July 2016
Sailors of all descriptions, young and old, newcomers and professionals, are gathering in Cowes for what promises to be another classic edition of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
The packed pre-race press conference today included a celebration of the many developments that have occurred in the 12 years since J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s sponsorship started in 2005.
Round The Island Race 2016
“We are immensely proud to have been the title sponsor of the Round the Island Race for 12 years. We simply love the race, and every year it has got better and better,” said Jasper Berens, Head of UK Business, at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
“We are especially proud of both the technological and media initiatives we have introduced which have enhanced the competitor experience and brought the Race to life for armchair spectators around the world. I have participated in the Race for the last 12 years and have many special memories – what really stands out is the feeling of achievement and camaraderie as you cross the finish line.”
ISC Admiral Robin Aisher and J.P. Morgan’s Jasper Berens with past Commodores Bill Pimlott, Rod Nicholls and Commodore Mark Wynter at today’s Press Conference. Photo: Patrick Eden.
Robin Aisher, Admiral of the Island Sailing Club, added:
“We’ve had a superb partnership that’s seen participation grow, media coverage around the world expand and many technical innovations in both race management and media.
“It has become a true Race For All, whether you’re young or old, able bodied or disabled, a newcomer to sailing or a professional.
“In that time we’ve also seen Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard break the monohull race record, and Sir Ben Ainslie’s 45ft catamaran fly around the Island on its foils in two hours 52 minutes to smash the multihull record.“
Tomorrow, gusts of up to 25 knots are expected at St Catherine’s Point, the Island’s southern extremity, giving the largest multihulls a chance of breaking Ainslie’s record.
“We had a great time on our practice day yesterday, sailing round the Island in two hours 40 minutes,” said Ned Collier Wakefield, skipper of the giant MOD70 Concise 10. “For sure, tomorrow will be quick, but we don’t know yet if it will be record worthy conditions.”
A force for good
Charity fundraising is also a big part of the Race story, with £550,000 in total raised during J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s involvement with the Race.
Of this, £226,000 has been raised for official charity the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
The young people with cancer whose confidence the Trust helps to rebuild benefit hugely from this money, and their involvement with the Race:
“The medical facilities we have are great, but sometimes the psychological and other support is not so good,” says Mark Stevens, who first sailed with the Trust after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
“Those sailing trips helped me regain enough confidence to return to my studies, and complete a degree, which in turn enabled me to get a job with J.P. Morgan. When you do the race with the Trust, there’s a fantastic sense of achievement and camaraderie, with people who have experienced the same problems that you have.“
Stevens has subsequently returned as a volunteer on the Trust’s sailing trips.
“Normally, young people with cancer just don’t meet adults that have been through the same experience as them,” explains Ellen, “it’s really powerful.“
The Greig City Academy, an inner city school in north London, has entered a 45ft former Admiral’s Cup yacht, Scaramouche, as part of its preparation for the 2017 Fastnet Race.
Jon Holt, head of outdoor education, says: “A lot of our students that get involved have never seen the sea, let alone a racing yacht before. It’s been a successful project to date that’s helped promote personal growth, social awareness and develop life skills.”
The team from Grieg City Academy racing on Scaramouche
demonstrate the Race for All ethos. Photo: Patrick Eden.
“Sailing has changed my life – I’d never been outside of London before, but I’ve been to lots of other places now,” says crew member Junior Owusu.
“We even met the Duke of Edinburgh – we went through the gates of Buckingham Palace.” Skipper Montel Jordan adds:
“We’ve all learnt many, many skills. Not just sailing skills but other useful skills like first aid, as well as things that help us at school with subjects like geography and maths.“